Without question, the best pizza dough is naturally leavened. Sourdough. But, sourdough requires a mother (starter) to be fed and maintained daily. Nice if you have the patience, but I do not. However, there is an alternative which I have developed and will now share with you. My new recipe is based on a derivation of an old Italian pre-ferment technique known as a Biga (or sponge). My version is closer to what the French call a poolish (a wetter version of the Biga). In any case, the Biga makes for a chewier pizza dough that is a lot closer to naturally leavened dough yet easier to make. Ingredients: 4 cups soft all purpose flour 1 teaspoon yeast 2 cups filtered water 2 teaspoons salt 2 tablespoon olive oil
Place 1 cup of warm water in a small mixing bowl. Add 1/4 teaspoon of the yeast. Stir it up. Add 1 cup of the AP flour and mix the mess up into a soupy-like mixture. Let it sit in the kitchen with a towel over it overnight. It should look bubbly. This is the Biga.
The next day, about 3 hours before you're ready to make your pizza, add 1 cup warm water, another 3/4 teaspoon yeast, salt, olive oil then stir it up.
Add 3 cups AP flour and get it all mixed real nice. Let it sit and hydrate for 30 minutes covered with the towel. Then, kneed a little, pulling and stretching the dough until it gets stiff. Cover, and repeat the pull and stretch every 30 minutes or so.
When you’re ready, just roll it out as normal. Enjoy.
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